Do me a favor and close your mind for a second from all outside influences. Now, I am about to give you a word, and think of what comes to mind the instant you read the word and keep only that first image in your mind. Ready? Okay…
Okay fine, that was two words.
Literalisms aside, what came to your mind? The latest chart-topping Glee cover? Lots of half-naked ethnic stereotypes in a hot tub? A poster for Eclipse? One of Lindsay Lohan’s mugshots?
I saw something different. I saw a scene that took place many months ago in my own life. A scene where I confronted my mother and told her I had been purposefully taking in less than 500 calories every day and working out to the point where it induced fainting spells for several months in an attempt to lose weight. I saw her tears. I felt my stomach churn with both guilt and pride for being empty. I saw my fat, ugly reflection in the nearby mirror.
The media did not do this to me. Pop culture is the driving force behind my eating disorder, the one I still struggle with every day but am slowly starting to recover from. I see a major difference between media and pop culture.
The media is an unavoidable force, unless you lock yourself in a cave in Antarctica. Media, in the form of books, films, news, photographs, sights and sounds, is around us all the time. Media manifests itself in solid forms of communication, no matter what subject it takes.
Pop culture manifests itself in FORMS of media, like films, etc., but pop culture is more an ideology that changes whenever the invisible hand decides it wants something different to be the trend. Media is the delivery boy, and pop culture, the delivery. Pop culture and media are partners in crime, and it is through this deadly alliance that they affect or lives, whether we like to admit it or not.
Pop culture is what influenced me to think that I was a disgusting piece of trash because I was overweight. Why? Because the ideology that pop culture is pushing is that the smaller the body, the more attractive they are. The more impossible the body type, the more desirable towards men, which, by the way, pop culture dictated that EVERY girl wants.
And this can be applied to so many other trends and problems society sees. Pop culture, for instance, presents the ideology that high school is this be-all, end-all experience, and it’s where you’ll find your real friends, true love, and live out the best years of your life. Even in media artifacts at least partially targeted at a post-high school audience, like Glee. Whereas, in my personal experience at least, high school was more like going to the orthodontist: a miserable place of pain you HAD to visit in order to get what you really wanted.
Maybe that’s just due to the fact that no one broke out into a showstopper every time two people decided to go out. I only speak for myself here.
But I digress. What I’m trying to say is, pop culture and the ideologies it promotes are extremely dangerous. In my case, it did irreversible damage to my body, as my eating habits induced a permanent iron deficiency, and regardless of my recovery progress, I still have fainting spells at a moment’s warning. The ideas, dangerous or benign, spread like wildfire. The power can be catastrophic.
What I don’t understand is, we know this, and we know the power that pop culture can have an society such as ours, but why can’t this incomprehensible be used for the side of good? Instead of using pop culture to promote insane ideas of beauty and how to live life, we could use pop culture to draw attention to world poverty, or civil rights for those who don’t have them, or even, Isis forbid, to help convince people that differences is good and beauty is in the eye of the beholder?
I suppose this is how the world works. Until whatever time the invisible hand shifts the tides around in such a fashion that pop culture CAN be used for a great good, it’s up to the power of individual strength of will to convince themselves that they aren’t fat.
And whether or not being fat is a bad thing in the first place is another rant entirely…
INDIANAPOLIS- Once every four years, two of the most famed quarterbacks in the NFL go head-to-head in what is known now as the ‘Manning Bowl.’ Why is it called ‘The Manning Bowl?’ Because the two quarterbacks are brothers Eli Manning of the New York Giants, and Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts. Both Mannings are sons of former New Orleans Saints quarterback Archie Manning and his wife, Olivia.
In 2006, Peyton Manning won the XLI Super Bowl and the MVP Award for that year, after beating the Chicago Bears. The following year, it was Eli’s turn to claim the Vince Lombardi Trophy and the same MVP Award for ousting the until-then undefeated New England Patriots, causing one of the biggest upsets in NFL history his freshman year as a quarterback.
Last year, Peyton had the chance to take back the Super Bowl title when the Colts once again made it to the championship game. However, they were ousted by the New Orleans Saints. Currently, both men are tied at 132 career wins.
The Giants and the Colts met in Indiana Sunday night for a showdown between brothers and teams, with their father Archie in attendance. In the first quarter, it seemed like it would be a close game. However, by the end, the Colts pummeled the Giants 38-14 with some stellar defense right out of the gate, forcing two fumbles that gave the Colts 14 of their eventual 38 points. The Giants scored once in the third quarter and once in the fourth. But, by then, it was too late, and the game was all but over.
Eli avoided all but one sacking attempt, while Peyton’s offense was seemingly unstoppable throughout the night. After halftime, the Colts blazed through the game and gave the Giants only one scoring drive.
The Colts were previously 0-1 and the Giants 1-0. Next week, the Giants face off against the Tennessee Titans, and the Colts head to Denver to take on the Broncos.
Peyton Manning declined a post-game interview with NBC, a strange habit for him, out of respect for his little brother’s defeat. Both brothers met briefly both before and after the game, and nodded at each other politely as the clock ran down. Allegedly, Archie visited Eli in the locker room after the game to offer consolation and advice.
When asked what it’s like to have sons on opposing sides of a game, Archie Manning replied to NBC, “I don’t know, it’s tough.”
The Mannings have an older brother, Cooper Manning, who could not take the same route as his siblings due to a spinal condition. He is rarely seen at football games. A
Both of the Manning brothers reached fame outside of the NFL by starring in several commercials, some featured both brothers together. They have also hosted Saturday Night Live at least once each to great reviews. Their charisma and popularity has brought a lot of attention to the Manning NFL dynasty since Eli’s drafting in 2007.
Every blog has an introductory post, introducing the author and slowly easing the reader into his/her thought processes. And here’s mine…
The first thing you should know about me is I’m just your average anomaly. I don’t like following the mainstream, but as a result, I follow an alternative mainstream that blatantly refuses to follow the lead mainstream. I stand out to those who know me, invoke questions of ‘Why?’ ‘Who?’ and ‘What for?’ out of those who don’t, and have a tragic addiction to daydreaming.
I’m a very special brand of ‘nerd,’ if you permit me to use the term. I watch more British television than American. I can list all eleven actors who have portrayed The Doctor to date. Yet I cannot hold my own at 9 out of 10 video games. I can answer all of your Harry Potter-related questions, yet have never managed to stay awake during any of the three Lord of the Rings films. I dress and think like a Bohemian college student, but have ambitions that are pretty conventional and result in a very straight-laced lifestyle.
Hence, the average anomaly. I am, as Anne Frank once referred to it, ‘A walking bundle of contradictions.’
I’m also very passionate. Very few controversial issues hold a middle-ground stance in my mind. I will argue my cause to death and beyond. I have been called a ‘future vigilante’ by some of my closer friends. Vigilante? Maybe so, maybe not. But I do have a rather extensive sense of equality and justice. I’d be perfect for the job of 21st Century Robin Hood, if such a position was ever made necessary. I view humanity at it’s most common denominator: we are homo sapiens. A single species with a plethora of differences to flaunt. Prejudices and inequalities are just excuses for the insecure to put themselves up on a pedestal.
So, that was the Sparknotes version of who I am, and that will do for now.
Welcome to my world, and for your own safety, keep your wits about you.